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So,I doubt anyone will even see this but

My son was born on the 9th of July  :D  Me and my husband think that it's a good idea for him to be bilingual.I mean,apart from the bonus oppurtunities offered to bilingual people,he kind of needs to be,if he's gonna speak to my husband's family at all.It might be nice for him to be able to have a conversation with grandma.

The problem is,we have got no idea what to do.
We live in an English speaking country,so do we both just speak Mandarin at home and let him pick up English when he starts school? I'm not sure I want to do that,I have friends whose parents did that and they're fine,but I don't want him to have to start school and for it to be in another language!   :/   So the other option is that I speak English and his dad speaks Mandarin.But,again I'm worried that then he won't have enough exposure to the language.The best solution I could think of is that we both speak a mixture of both languages.
Is that what we should do? I'm still coming up with other problems in my head,like grammar,if we do thiat it could be messed up,or he could use the wrong language with the wrong people...urgh.
What did/would you do?


I was told today by one of my 2.5-year-old's daycare teachers that she [my daughter] doesn't speak at all at daycare. She didn't really seem concerned, she sort of just mentioned this in passing, but is this normal at all?

Background: She does seem to be behind the other kids her age when it comes to language skills, but that's a far cry from not speaking at all. At home, she talks all the time. She's shy, but she's been at the same place with the same kids for over a year. She comes home and tells me about her friends, and sings the songs that she learns there, etc. Plus, this is the first time I've heard from any of the caretakers that she doesn't speak.

She [the teacher] attributed it to the fact that we speak English at home, and the daycare is all in Hebrew. But I don't see how that explains it, because Chaya (my daughter) speaks mostly Hebrew at home. Her sentences are almost all Hebrew, sprinkled with English words. Is it possible that she's confused between the two languages and because of that, is embarrassed to speak at daycare? I don't really see embarrassment as an issue at her age, but I'm trying to think of something to explain it.

Or is it maybe more common that I think for kids who speak at home not to speak at daycare?

crossposted to parenting101

Intro Post and Question

Name: Eli	
Age: 27
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Children: 1
Your languages: 1st: English, native 2nd: Spanish, mostly fluent 3rd: Arabic, pretty basic
Languages spoken by your spouse: 1st: Spanish, native 2nd: English, pretty basic
Targeted languages for your children: English, Spanish
Why do you want them to be bilingual/multilingual? I don't even see it in terms of want/desire. It is as necesary as speaking in the first place
How would you describe your child/children language skills so  far? He is a pretty good cooer.
Best/funniest/cute moment(s) you want to share? So far, it has all been pretty cute!
Do you have any fears/concerns? I fear confusion see next question.
Anything else you want to share? This is my situation, I am interested in your pov
 regarding the best way to procede. 
1. Our son is 3 months old. I have been speaking English 100% when we are alone 
(my son and I) I am a stay at home mom right now, so that's a lot. 
But when my husband comes home I speak to him in Spanish and our son in English 
about 50-75% of the time in the evenings and on weekends. 
In public, without my SO, it's about 90% in English. Im not sure if this is ok.
To further the potential confusion we will be moving to the US from Mexico and 
I was thinking it might be best that we speak Spanish in the home (both of us)
The reason I feel the need to go back and forth from English to Spanish is because
 sometimes I want my SO to be involved in the conversation.
Will my switching languages lead to confusion? What should I do?
2. Regarding confusion. Our son's name is Dominic Elias. 
We wanted to give him an American and Mexican name. My SO really likes Dominic.
I like both names, but it is proving futile to try to get anyone to pronounce 
or spell it right. 
They pronounce and spell it like "Dominique" it is driving me batty. 
They just cant pronounce the short i, and automatically want to put the syllable 
on the syllable not the first. 
So I made the executive decision that he goes by Elias to Spanish speaking folks.
 a.k.a. my in-laws. 
But I like Elias, and would call him that myself, but my SO really wants him to go 
by Dominic. I like both the names.
I know that my situation is totally SNAFU please straighten us out! 

Teaching how to read to a bilingual child

My son is going to be three soon and he's fully bilingual. I've only ever spoken italian to him (my mother tongue) and let hubby and the rest of the environment take care of the english side of things and it has worked great for us. He knows that when he speaks to me (or my family back home) he has to use italian and english to everyone else. Now that he's coming close to three though I want to start teaching him how to read and I'm not sure how to go at it. I can find tons of resources on how to teach reading to a child in english but very little in italian and I am not so sure it's a good idea to concentrate on only teaching him italian and leave the english to the school system. But at the same time I've never spoken english to him (apart from reading the odd book at nighttime if he picks an english one over an italian) and I don't want him to get confused (and possible confuse myself too :( )

So, any parents out there who have experience in teaching how to read to their bilingual children? Any tips you'd love to share? Language systems that you've loved and would rec to anyone within a mile radius?
TIA

talking from side of mouth

Hi all!

Quick intro, and then on to the questions:

I'm American, my husband is Finnish. We live in Finland with our 3yo daughter and our 9mo son. I speak strictly English to the kids, daddy speaks only Finnish. Our home language between hubby and I is English, and although my daughter speaks Finnish to my husband, I answer or pipe in in English--resulting in mixed language family conversations. My daughter has no problem switching between the languages--they are entirely unrelated languages. A child psychologist, her daycare workers, and our nurse and pediatricians at the well-child clinic have all remarked at how expressive she is in both languages and how fortunate we are that she flows between them so nearly seamlessly. So far, so good.

Lately, she's been doing this thing where she speaks English out of the right side of her mouth. This gives her a slight lisp. My husband hasn't noticed she does this in Finnish, however. It doesn't happen all the time, but enough that it makes me wonder what the cause could be. I know from my own experience that I have to switch where I speak from going from English to Finnish, and up until now I haven't suspected my daughter has any trouble deciding where she should speak from in either language.

So my question(s): Is it developmentally normal for kids to experiment with where they speak from in their mouths? I really haven't a clue. Does anyone have some helpful advice from their own experiences to share? Should I ask her about it or bring it to her attention in a non-shameful manner, or should I just wait a few weeks to months without saying anything and just let this possible phase run its course? Could someone provide some expert or medical links to read more about speech development that might be related to this issue? My googling skills are full of fail on this particular topic, unfortunately.

Intro

Name: Ruchel
Age: 24
Location: Paris, France
Children: Mati, 21 months
Your languages: French, English, some German, some Hebrew, some Yiddish, small bits of Italian and Latin, tiny bits of Chinese and Spanish
Languages spoken by your spouse: French, Hebrew, German, Yiddish, Italian, English, Spanish (hum.... yeah he rocks)
Targeted languages for your children: French, Italian, English, Hebrew, some Yiddish
Why do you want them to be bilingual/multilingual? Culture transmission, and very useful in the Jewish community to have French, Hebrew and English.
How would you describe your child/children language skills so far? She speaks well for her age in French, understands some Italian and Hebrew but says only a couple of words. Funnily, we may end up sending her to a... Franco-German daycare! another language!
Best/funniest/cute moment(s) you want to share? she answers to "where is maman?" in French, Hebrew and Italian!
Do you have any fears/concerns? That it's really too much.

What do you think?

Another Introduction

I am so excited I found this community! I was searching for just such a community earlier this year, and I was so disappointed that I wasn't able to find one. It's so good to know that there is a place I can go now with all my questions!

Name: Alice
Age: 24
Location: Vienna, Austria
Children: Helín Sultan, 18 months
Your languages: english, german
Languages spoken by your spouse: turkish, german
Targeted languages for your children: english, german, and turkish
Why do you want them to be bilingual/multilingual? Well, Helín kind of has to be. We are living in Austria, so she needs to know german. At the same time, we have relatives who speak english or only Turkish, and we would like very much for her to be able talk with them as well. Also, I just believe that in the multicultural world that we live in, any child is better off learning at least two languages.
How would you describe your child/children language skills so far? She can say a few words in Turkish and German
Best/funniest/cute moment(s) you want to share? I would love to, but I think I am the only one who would find them cute. But she does like to say "nein", german for no, an awful lot.
Do you have any fears/concerns? That she wont be able to handle the three languages.

Sep. 22nd, 2008

Name: Sophia

Age: 25

Location: California

Children: Elana, 4 months old

Your languages: English and Russian

Languages spoken by your spouse: English only

Targeted languages for your children: English and Russian

Why do you want them to be bilingual/multilingual? I believe it is an asset in life to know more than one language and I want her to be as involved in my culture as possible.

How would you describe your child/children language skills so far? She screams well.

Best/funniest/cute moment(s) you want to share? none regarding language, but I'll share a new motor skill from yesterday :) We were sitting on the couch and I had her on my lap. I was facing her and making funny faces. She then decided to politely grab my glasses, take them off of me, and set them down next to her. I guess she likes me better without them on!

Do you have any fears/concerns? Not really at this point.

Anything else you want to share? My mom watches her full time while I am at work and only speaks to her in Russian, so we have that as an advantage.

Name: Natalie
Age:24
Location: Ontario, Canada
Children:Liliana 10mths
Your languages:English and french
Languages spoken by your spouse:
English and french
Targeted languages for your children: Mostly french is spoken to her
Why do you want them to be bilingual/multilingual? My SO and I both grew up
bilingual and Lili will attend a french school when the time comes. Having at
least two languages is important to us...besides I want her to be able to
speak to her relatives that dont know english
How would you describe your child/children language skills so far? well...
she says mom...papa....hi,bye and ien, ien for chien *dog*
Best/funniest/cute moment(s) you want to share? n/a
Do you have any fears/concerns?I'm afraid she will be a late talker because
 we're doing both languages at once
Anything else you want to share? Ummmm not really. i've had this comm on my
list for a while, but didnt see this questionnaire! :)

Tags:

Just thought I'd share

Quick background - DH and I are both primary English speakers who also speak Spanish (DH better than me) living in Puerto Rico.  My daughter's preschool is bilingual.

I'm always amazed when I go to pick her up and I hear her talking to her friends in Spanish.  It's so cute to see how easy it is for her (it's a bit of a struggle for me) and while I always worry that it's a barrier to friendship for her (she's only 3), it really doesn't seem to be at all.

I've noticed two things lately.  First, if I talk to her in Spanish, even if it's just a word or two, she will answer back in Spanish.  Second, she seems to think that the Spanish nouns are the *names* of those objects.  Like, she will tell me that the horsie's name is "caballo" and the juice's name is "jugo".  I guess there's no real point to this post except that I love watching her learn and the process is fascinating.

eta:  Somehow I was a member here but I was not watching the community.  I"m sorry I haven't introduced myself more.  I"ll try to do so soon.